(Please see UPDATES at end)
I had a telephone call earlier today from what is almost certainly another of these scam outfits. The caller asked initially if he could speak to the "householder", I responded querying who was calling. The person (a Scottiah male voice, with a well-spoken Edinburgh-ish accent) said he was calling about the "Window Scrappage Scheme", which he said is currently available "in your area" - naturally he did not reveal which company or organisation he represented, a sure sign in my opinion that this is merely a commission agent touting for business either on behalf of the company he works for or for another company which had hired him to conduct cold-calling. On this occasion I asked him how he had obtained my telephone number, given that I have signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and he responded by blustering that it was an "official call". I then informed him that I had heard enough and was going to hang up, which I did. I then blocked future calls by adding the telephone number (see below) to my 'choose to refuse' list.
An internet search for the number (01968 458146) revealed it to be from the Penicuik area (this is just south of Edinburgh), and further research at one of the links provided by that search, http://www.411phonesearch.co.uk/01968458146-phone-number, revealed it is indeed a scam operation, with a number of very negative comments listed against it.
As I wrote in an earlier article last July, I think most sensible people can recognise this kind of call for what it is almost immediately, but some more gullible folks or perhaps some elderly folks with poor hearing might be fooled by these con-artists. So this is a further warning just to be careful and not to be drawn into a conversation with such people. I am never rude when I hang up, by the way, I always say something like "no thanks, goodbye" and hang up (although today I was perhaps slightly more abrupt, but certainly not rude), then block future calls if possible with my 'choose to refuse' access code. Job done!
PS/ Like many others, I subscribe to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which theoretically should stop cold-calls, but as has been mentioned recently in the media the rules are being flouted by some less-reputable (and some otherwise seemingly pretty reputable) outfits; 'choose to refuse' is a second line of defence for me which I began to use over 10 years ago.
UPDATE (Wednesday 28NOV2012 14.19 GMT) I have published a comment - see below - which may perhaps be of interest to some readers, although to be quite frank I am not entirely certain that this comment is not itself in the nature of 'spam', specially as the person writing me addresses me as "Trefor" - I have absolutely no idea where that comes from. In any case, if you want to follow this 'marketing' contact do so at your own peril - I shall certainly not be doing so myself. Depending on any feedback I get I may choose to remove said comment at any time.
3rd UPDATE (Wednesday 31JUL2013 20.00 BST) A short time ago, someone called "Andrew McCann" tried to post a comment here which I have not published. In his comment Mr McCann categorised me as "Some snobby old guy looking down on cold callers" and adding "these people work long hours for awful pay" and "Try being a cold caller earning less than minimum wage...". Well, Mr McCann, it is not my problem that people are BREAKING THE LAW by knowingly cold-calling people who have signed up to the TPS (as I have). Nor is it my problem that people are low paid, much as I may have sympathy with them. Nor am I in any way responsible, nor do I condone it if it is true, that companies employing these people are paying them "less than minimum wage" in contravention of the law. Naturally, Mr McCann, I have kept a copy of the email confirmation, sent to me by the blogging host, of your comment, for future reference. In summary, this comment is a joke and I am treating it as such. PS/ A 'Google' search for "Andrew McCann" naturally reveals many people with this name, but one seems to be closely connected with the 'cold-calling' sector. Nuff sed! PPS/ The IP address of the computer used to leave the comment is 220.127.116.11 with the ISP shown as "Cablecom Networking Limited", apparently from the Dundee area.